You heard? It was an overwhelming gathering. Republican 2024 hopefuls in Iowa on Sunday — near Cedar Rapids, amid the midsummer seas of ripening cornstalks and the darker hues of rows of soybeans.

It was after the a Republican Party fund-raising dinner in Des Moines nine days earlier, and just before the Iowa State Fair begins Thursday, where the state’s Republican Governor plans to meet with the public one-on-1 “chats” Twelve presidential candidates are on the ballot.

Some political types refer to these gatherings in an unkind way. “cattle calls,” It’s as if they are evaluating the candidates by comparing them to a piece of meat.

But the fact is that even as Iowa voters and power brokers — along with the national Republican Party — go through the motions of sizing up a fulsome presidential field, the prize has never looked so far beyond the grasp of all but one person, Donald J. Trump, who dominates as if he were a White House incumbent.

Iowa’s role in defining the candidates ahead of the long primary campaign has never been so irrelevant. The state is a good bet for Mr. Trump to win next year. to Do, the full stop may suggest a sudden end to the race.

“Iowa Picks Presidents” On the Hawkeye Downs Speedway Expo Center’s lectern, located on Cedar Rapids’ outskirts, a sign reads: “Get ready to get fired up!” Seven candidates, not including Trump, appeared and repeated for 10 minutes their stump speeches from the entire campaign.

Iowans, as well as many other voters in the country Republican The electorate is already a semblance to Have picked Mr. Trump. His near inevitability, despite three criminal indictments, has made the months of pre-caucus rituals in Iowa — beloved by candidates and operatives, the political press and many Iowa voters who relish a quadrennial strut before the national footlights — an exercise that feels increasingly hollow.

Mr. Trump’s dominance of the polls far exceeds his largest leads of 2015 and 2016, when he marched incrementally to The nomination. The New York Times/Siena College Poll conducted last week on likely nominees. Republican The primary polls gave Donald Trump an overall lead of 37 percentage points, compared to his nearest rival Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida. In Iowa is the only state where the former president still leads by 22 points.

Lyn Madsen, a Republican Voter from Janesville (Iowa) who came to She said that she heard the candidates Sunday and Mr. Trump is her nominee. She was only there for a few hours to She was looking for the No. On the ticket, there is a 2.

“I don’t think they’re going to be able to dethrone him,’’ she said of the former president. “I’m more thinking, who is going to be able to be with him?”

It’s still several months until the first nomination contest. It is unclear if Mr. Trump’s continuing courtroom appearances in multiple criminal cases next year, overlapping with primary contests, could diminish the confidence that, today, so many Republicans have in his candidacy.

So far, however, his legal woes haven’t had much of an impact on his supporters. His picking a battle with Gov. Kim Reynolds from Iowa is a well-known politician. RepublicanHe is not disqualified for ignoring evangelicals or refusing to attend their gatherings, because any candidate would be.

In According to the Times/Siena Poll of Iowa Republicans, 52 percent said that they only considered Mr. Trump. Almost four out of five Republicans (77%) said that they were only considering Mr. Trump. “strongly” They backed their choice and suggested that others had little or no chance. to eat into Mr. Trump’s lead.

DeSantis has fallen and now hopes to run an insurgency campaign — promising to It is a long and exhausting schedule that’s usually followed by unfunded amateurs like Rick Santorum. to Pull off an upset victory in the Iowa Caucuses of 2012.

The hyper-retail approach that Mr. DeSantis has adopted in Iowa is no longer relevant. As Mr. Trump has dominated the media cycle by cycle and absorbed most of the air in this race, the contest for the Republican nomination is now a national one.

On Sunday, Mr. Trump’s seven rivals seemed to Hope voters ignore that former President Bush was blocking out the sunlight. This is the only reference to Former Gov. Asa Hutchinson from Arkansas. “I know that this is an uphill battle because there’s one candidate in the race who’s got like 50 percent of the vote,’’ Mr. Hutchinson said, on his 14th visit to Iowa, where he was below 1 percent in The Times/Siena Poll.

He went on to tell a self-deprecating story about introducing himself to a woman in an Iowa cafe, informing her he was running for president of the United States. “Sure,” she said, “and I’m running for vice president of the United States.’’